On May 25th, 1961
President John F. Kennedy delivered his historic moonshot speech to Congress.
"Now it is time to take longer strides," Kennedy told Congress that day, "time for a great new American enterprise—time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth." He challenged the nation to a seemingly unimaginable task: putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
Three factors made this landmark achievement possible:
- Concerted leadership to drive unprecedented innovation.
- A specific call to action to ignite unparalleled collaboration across the public and private sectors.
- A sustained investment ensuring continued success.
Nearly fifty years later, the digital revolution is fundamentally changing the ways we interact with each other and experience our lives. As our lives move online, so have a broad range of threats. Today’s cybersecurity measures have been far outpaced by hackers, criminals, and nation states. This needs to change.
The time has come for a Cyber Moonshot.
A new call to action for federal leadership
To launch a moonshot for the Digital Era, federal cyber leadership at the highest levels must chart a clear path to securing the digital landscape over the next five years by taking a number of critical steps.
A key part of this journey is addressing the most pressing cyber risk on the horizon: using the Internet of Things against us. We must develop a way to secure the IoT by leveraging the latest technology: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
In five years, we can shift the balance and land another moonshot—but we must start today. Here are six things federal agencies can do now:
- Improve basic cyber hygiene to ensure systems are patched and up to date.
- Accelerate cloud migration work. Look beyond "lift and shift" for opportunities to refractor systems to be cloud-native.
- Identify your "crown jewels" and focus on securing those systems by adopting a data-centric security approach.
- Move to DevSecOps processes and methodologies, bringing IT Modernization and Cybersecurity investment streams together in an agile process to ensure needs are coherently addressed.
- Adopt effective and proven proactive defense measures to root out APTs, close the holes, and build a more capable and hardened defense.
- Promote a security first mindset where cybersecurity is viewed as everyone’s responsibility.
What does "resilience" mean in federal cybersecurity?
"Safe" takes on a different meaning for each agency’s unique mission. At its core, safe means establishing a baseline level of confidence that does not waver when an unexpected event hits. It is about getting into a position where you have a systematic plan and cyber defenses in place when an attack occurs.
The ability for government, business and citizens to conduct business and engage without fear of loss, compromise or damage.
Rapid innovation to deliver enhanced citizen services built on a secure, resilient foundation.
Confidence that critical intelligence, plans, intellectual property and sensitive data are protected from those who would do harm while available with ease and trust to those who need it.